The San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobii put on red jerseys last night instead of their usual black and white. However, the result wasn’t much different than it has been for both players all season long, as they helped the Western conference All-Stars to a 148-143 victory.
It was Duncan’s 13th All-Star game and Ginobii’s second.
With Gregg Popovich at the helm for the West and with a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder this week in his sights, it wasn’t too surprising to see Duncan limited to just over 11 minutes of playing time.
Duncan finished with two points and three rebounds in what could be his last All-Star appearance.
While Ginobili didn’t have the best shooting night, he found a way to make his mark in true Manu fashion.
In 20 minutes off the bench, Ginobili finished with seven points, five assists, three rebounds and three steals. His assist numbers might have matched his points, but as usual, some players were caught off guard with his passes or fumbled them.
Popovich said he tried his best not to coach, but late in the game, when the score was close, he called a timeout and called plays specifically for a few of the West’s players.
“You don’t coach, it’s hard not to coach,” Popovich said in his post-game presser. “But you have to sit there and shut up because it’s not about that.”
Apparently he and his coaching staff did just enough coaching to pull out the win late in the game.
For Popovich, coaching a team without an emphasis on playing defense will stop when he leaves Los Angeles today. He has see his share of these All-Stars again as the Thunder, Lakers and Heat all make trips to San Antonio.